Guitar Heroes

B.B. King

The King of Blues spent 70 years performing his unique take on the blues with his trusty guitar Lucille by his side. We explore the history of B.B. King and the playing styles that he left behind.

Posted: 14 July 2020

History

Riley B. King (AKA B.B. King) is arguably one of the most prolific guitar players of all time. His unique playing style and huge contribution to music saw him crowned ‘The King of the Blues’ in his time. Known for his unique soloing techniques he became a legend in the guitar community and his influences can be seen far and wide in modern music.

Playing style

The B.B. Bend

Famously known for his expressive playing, King would go for quality over quantity, a style that gained the term ‘The Blues Box’ or the ‘B.B. Box’ where you take a shape of the minor pentatonic further down the neck and focus primarily on 4/5 notes. The key to this is phrasing. King’s phrasing was what separated his licks from the rest and he would always use his notes sparingly. The B.B. Box technique is better explained in the video below.